CHENNAI: The right to protest cannot include the right to cause nuisance or harassment to public, the Madras High Court observed on Thursday while holding that it cannot help out the public, whose peaceful living is infringed by political parties holding protests breaking laws, than to expect the police to perform their duty. The first bench comprising Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice TS Sivagnanam made this observation while disposing of a PIL by AP Suryapraksam, who sought a direction to the State government and the police to not allow political parties or outfits stage agitations in front of their offices.
Petitioner contended that though certain areas in the city have been earmarked for holding dharnas and agitations, the police had granted permission to Karti P Chidambaram, son of former minister P Chidambaram, to erect shamianas and stage agitation in front of the Congress party headquarers, Sathyamurthy Bhavan, on December 12 , 2014. He prayed for a direction to the government to take action against the police personnel who granted permission to Karti and instruct them to not grant permission to political parties hold demos in front of their offices in future.
When the PIL came up for hearing, the judges said, “The PIL really seeks to inculcate a social behaviour which is difficult through the process of judicial pronouncements. It is easier to change the law than behaviour.”
‘Provide info on places meant for Public Meet’
Chennai: In an attempt to clear confusion on whether public meetings can be organised at a particular location or not, the Madras High Court has directed the Commissioner of Police, Chennai, to publish on the department website information about the places earmarked for holding such meetings in the city.